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Pumping stations are changing from private to public
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On 1 October 2016 we will become responsible for private pumping stations in Yorkshire that meet the eligibility criteria. To prepare for the transfer, we need to locate private pumping stations and we are already in the process of carrying out detailed surveys on them. This will allow us to determine what work would be required to bring them up to industry asset standards.
The pumping stations help pump waste from properties to the nearest sewage treatment works. They could be located in back gardens or on land next to domestic properties and businesses.
Normally, only the steel access covers and green kiosks are visible, which contain the electrical control equipment for the pumps.
At present, landowners and homeowners will have some responsibility for the upkeep of pumping stations, either solely or jointly, if the pumping station serves several properties. The transfer will make it easier for our customers, as we will take responsibility for the maintenance and repairs of most pumping stations.
If you are aware of any private pumping stations or would like further information please contact us.
On 1 October 2011, we became responsible for tens of thousands of kilometres of private sewers that had previously belonged to our customers.
Throughout July 2011 we wrote to all our customers explaining more about the sewer transfer and outlining what this change of ownership means. To help you understand more about what we are calling 'The Big Transfer' here you can find detailed information including interactive help guides, frequently asked questions and case studies.
The Government took the decision to transfer ownership of private sewers to water companies in order to give customers greater clarity and peace of mind should a problem occur like a blocked or collapsed drain.
The transfer also ensures that we pick up the cost of maintaining and repairing these sewers, not our customers.
Private sewers and lateral drains have been transferred to form part of the public sewer network.
A private sewer is a pipe that carries rainwater and/or waste water away from more than one property to the public sewer.
A lateral drain is a pipe that carries waste water away from a single property. The transferred asset will be the length located outside the property boundary.
Sewers that connect to a private treatment works, connect to a septic tank or carry water directly to a watercourse have not been transfered.
There are many different scenarios for the layout of pipes around different properties. The diagrams shown on our website serve as a guide to typical pipe layouts. Please visit Water UK's website for further guidance on a range of scenarios.
As a result of the Government's decision, we've taken on an additional 22,000kms of private sewers and lateral drains, which almost doubles the size of our system.
The Government estimates that the transfer may increase average domestic bills by between £3 and £14 per year across the country.
However, any future increases in bills will have to be approved by our regulator Ofwat.
We wrote to all sewerage customers in July 2011 to explain the changes. We can only give a general guide on the what the transfer means according to what type of property you live in.
The law has changed so that you are now only responsible for drains serving your property alone that are located within your property boundary. At the point where the pipe leaves your property boundary or becomes shared with a neighbour (serving more than one property) it is now our responsibility.
No, sewers that connect to a private treatment works, connect to a septic tank or carry water directly to a watercourse did not transfer.
If the problem continues and you would like to speak to us, our customer service agents can give you a call back.Request a callback
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